Fall 2023 Courses
January Term 2024 Courses **NEW**
ARTH-UA 650 The (Re)birth and Life of Great Chinese Cities
Instructor: Edward Denison
Days/Time: Monday-Friday 1:50 PM - 4:45 PM on Jan 3-5, 8-12, and 16-19 (the university is closed on Jan 15 for Martin Kuther King, Jr. Day)
Location: In person (Silver Center, Room 307)
This course has no prerequisites. As well as counting towards the Urban Design and Architecture Studies major, this course also counts as an elective towards the Art History major.
This course requires an access code/permission number to enroll in Albert. You must email either Professor Mosette Broderick or Professor Jon Ritter to receive the access code. Please note that the code reserves your spot in the course, so please request one only if you are reasonably sure that you will be able to enroll in this course.
The 20th Century is often said to be the century of the great American city, when the expansion of the likes of New York and Chicago set the global standard in defining the metropolis of the future. Between 2011-2013, China used more cement than America did in the entire 20th Century, much of it used to reconfigure old cities or to construct entirely new ones. China’s urbanisation is part of a global trend that in 2007 saw our species become, for the first time ever, urbanised, with over 50% of humans living in cities. In China, two thirds of the population - over 920m people - now live in cities. It is tempting to see this as something that has occurred elsewhere, but with the built environment being responsible for 40% of the CO2 production globally, processes of urbanisation on this scale have planetary consequences. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this course will introduce students to the fascinating histories and uncertain futures of China’s cities drawing from a wide range of different approaches, including film, literature, history, heritage studies, and architectural and urban history and theory.
Edward Denison is Professor of Architecture and Global Modernities at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where he is Director of the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments. He has over twenty-years’ experience as an independent consultant specialising in urban and cultural heritage, and has published over 20 books and has twice been awarded the RIBA President’s Medal for Research - in 2016 for his work on the successful UNESCO World Heritage Nomination of Asmara (Eritrea) and in 2017 for his research on Japan’s imperialist Ultra-Modernism in the northeast of China formerly known as Manchuria. Professor Denison’s wide-ranging research is motivated by the notion of ‘historiographical inequity’, exploring the resistance to and the role, practice and imperative of non-canonical architectural and urban histories, especially outside the west and in relation to modernity. His PhD was titled: Architecture and the Landscape of Modernity in China before 1949, which was later published by Routledge and joins other titles on Chinese urban history by Prof Denison, including Building Shanghai - The Story of China’s Gateway (Wiley 2006), Modernism in China - Architectural Visions and Revolutions (Wiley, 2008), Luke Him Sau, Architect - China’s Missing Modern (Wiley, 2014) and Ultra Modernism - Architecture and Modernity in Manchuria (HKU Press, 2017).